Burlington, VT – Members of the Burlington Livable City Coalition, representing hundreds of workers and community members across the city, stood in solidarity with Burlington School Support Staff, including food service workers, by wearing livable wage pins at locations across the city on January 28th and 29th. Members of AFSCME Local 1343, representing Burlington School Food Service workers and Service and Maintenance workers, have been in negotiations since January 2007 and working without a contract since June 30th, 2007. Despite the huge livable wage victory for Burlington School Para-Educators, represented by the Burlington Education Association, in November the food service workers in the Burlington Schools continue to work for less then a livable wage.
According to the Report on Livable Wages in Burlington Schools put out in June 2007 by the Peace and Justice Center’s Vermont Livable Wage Campaign and the Vermont Workers Center, no food service workers make the hourly livable wage, 43% earned $8.59/hr or less in 2005-2006 school year, and 94% of food service workers are women.
Dozens of nurses at Fletcher Allen Health Care, workers at City Market and the University of Vermont, as well had teachers, para-educators, food service workers and service and maintenance workers in the Burlington Schools wore Livable Wage buttons for the past two days.